A tale of two streaks
BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys soccer squad entered the week on the mal end of two extremes.
For the first week of the season, the Hawks managed to keep their regular-season unbeaten streak alive, pushing it to as many as 19 games with a 3-2 victory over Kennedy on Sept. 17. But it’s been downhill since then.
The latest in a string of tough results came Monday with a 3-1 loss to Watertown, one of the Naugatuck Valley League’s favorites. The defeat extended Woodland’s winless streak to four games, which includes losses to Torrington and Wolcott as well as a tie with Derby.
The Hawks (3-3-1) had a chance to take a first-half lead on the Indians, whose loss in last year’s NVL championship gave Woodland its first-ever league title. But Nick LaPerriere’s run into the center of the box was interrupted by Watertown goalkeeper David Hughes, who pounced on LaPerriere’s last touch that got away from him.
“He hasn’t learned to finish yet,” Woodland coach Tony Moutinho said. “Once he gets that down we should be more competitive. Every game he misses a couple breakaways. That one could have put us up 1-0 early and changed the game. But he tries hard.”
He made up for his mistake midway through the second half when his run down the left side of the field culminated in the Hawks’ only a goal, a shot past Hughes’ left shoulder to make it a 3-1 game.
But Watertown had already seized firm control of the game by then. Seven minutes after LaPerriere’s missed first-half opportunity, Tyler Champagne converted after corralling a loose ball in the box and striking it past Woodland keeper Pat Dietz for a 1-0 lead.
The score remained until 21 seconds after the second half began, when John Good penetrated the right side of the box and crossed to Luigi Calabrese, who changed direction near the 6-yard box and tapped his goal past Dietz for a 2-0 advantage.
“We have those lapses and breakdowns every once in a while,” Moutinho said. “Sometimes it takes them a little while to get going. Watertown capitalized on our mistakes and they’re a good team so I knew it would be hard to come back.”
The Indians compounded the lead six minutes later when Good drove one home from just inside the box to give his team a 3-0 lead.
Woodland nearly made it a one-goal game with 4:30 to play but Vigan Pacuku couldn’t fully control his ball after beating Hughes deep in the box. Pacuku’s last touch rolled out of his reach and the Watertown defense was able to clear it just in front of the goal line.
The Hawks started what they hope is a new winning streak with a 5-1 victory over Holy Cross Wednesday. Woodland will travel to Naugatuck on Friday night and return home Tuesday to face St. Paul.
“We have to let them know that we’re not as bad as our record indicates,” Moutinho said. “A lot of the games could have gone either way. We have to practice a little harder. They have to keep their heads up and hopefully the results will change.”